Children have the unique position to look at the world with utterly fresh perspective. But as they grow older, this advantage is eroded with centuries of accumulated wisdom.
It is true, there probably was not an evil zebra in my closet. In fact, the noise was probably nothing more than water rushing through old pipes. But then, that's just my adult logic in action.
My cousin used to bring a blanket with her to church, folded neatly in her lap. She never looked at the minister, and instead aimed her head at the rafters holding up the roof. And she prayed. She prayed for God to send her a monkey. She rightly assumed that, if granted, the monkey would fall from the ceiling and so would need somewhere soft to land. Hence the blanket.
Remember Bill Cosby's Kids Say the Darnedest Things? Why is it we feel the need to patronize the imaginations of children? Really, we should throw them into a think tank, connect electrodes to their brains, and see what pops.
Progress. Sweet, sweet progress.